A question of morals...


Jan 15, 2009
I offered my current PC for sale to a coworker who was looking for a gaming system for himself. I should note this is a person who thinks that spending $3,500 at Dell is a worthwhile investment. I won't lie--the specs on my system were decent for their day, with a few upgrades here and there, but it's showing it's age. I jokingly made an initial offer of $1800 for this:

Case: Thermaltake Armor+, includes 2 additional blue LED fans (60 CFM each)
Power Supply: Corsair 750-watt, 80+ certified
Motherboard: ASUS P5Q Pro
CPU: Intel Quad-core Q6600
CPU Fan: Thermaltake SpinQ
RAM: DDR-2 Corsair XMS 4GB
Videocard: EVGA GTX 260 "Superclocked"
Hard Drive: Seagate 1 Tb
Sound Card: Creative XFI “Fatality” Edition
DVD: Samsung 22x DVD-writer
Windows XP: XP Professional
HP Media keyboard
MS Intellimouse 3000
Samsung 17” LCD Monitor

Part of me says "He's a chump anyways, if anyone is going to rip him off it may as well be someone who won't sell him total crap" while the other part of me feels slightly guilty. I guess... I'm just asking, for someone who is impartial to tell me that I'm not being totally unfair to him. In truth he IS looking at Dell, but loves the idea of a more flashy system. He's going to spend the money anyways. But I still feel something like a tool for raping him for $500 more than the system is really worth.

And yeah, I'd just use the money to buy a newer system for myself anyways... so I can't be sure I'm really 'doing the right thing' by a coworker.
$1800 seems kinda high, esp. with a tiny monitor like that. What is the competition from Dell like? For $3500 I'd guess at least an i7 and a 26" monitor.

One thing about ripping off your fellow workers - if he finds out, your rep might be toast at that company. Or else he might become your boss one day - payback is hell! :)


Mar 16, 2009
I'm going to step in here and try and be the angel on your shoulder... Instead of ripping him off for your aging system, teach him how to build his own. Show him the absolute glory of newegg. You know the great system he could build for $3500, or even $1800. Instead of building a new system for yourself from the money taken from him, help him in building the best system possible for his budget. Isn't that what the good peeps at tom's forums do all day? Now, you get to do it in the real world, and not just forum world. You will get he see the system he builds firsthand and bask in the greatness of a fresh and new $3500 system... even if it's not yours.


Dec 28, 2002

I agree whole heartedly!!!!! The reward you get for helping him to build his own will be better than ANY amount of money. Material vs Morals.
You are offering a pretty decent machine, not junk. So feel good there.

Consider the support issue. If you sell it to him, you will be obligated to fix anything that goes wrong.
I think I would price it fairly, using current prices. Add in $100-$200 for your work. Sell it "as is".

Or you could sell it at the $1800 with a warranty and your support.

If you value the relationship, offering to coach through a build might be best.


Actually, I tend to be a bit more devious than that. Find-out how much this system is worth new now, cut the price by maybe 10-25% depending on how old the system is and how much warranty are left on parts; that should be a "reasonable" price. Then add an arbitrary amount (100-150$) and give him this price, but tell him you will cut 100-150$ if he is willing to spend an afternoon assembling the PC with your help.

To him it will be perceived as a reward for willingness to learn, to you it's more than enough to drown your disappointment in human kind in booze. Everybody wins.

If you are more goodle than I am, you can just show him how you calculated, how much he nearly got ripped-off and show him how much an equivalent Dell or Alienware system cost. Show him how much laziness can cost.


Feb 2, 2008
Take the advice of jrhisch. The simple fact that had to post here to try and appease your conscience should tell you that selling that computer for $1800 is wrong.
Your PC is "worth" about $800. Personally, I wouldn't give you $500 for it. But that is another story and not relevant to what we are talking about here.
This guy apparently hasn't got a clue, so you have 2 chioces.
Offer to help him build, as others stated, or tell him to go buy the Dell.
If it were me, I would tell him to buy the Dell.
Working with co-workers on things like this can turn into a complete mess fast. You have to be very careful how you handle this.
But don't whatever you do sell him your PC, UNLESS you are going to make him a great deal that he will love even it bursts into flames 10 minutes after he plugs it in.
Cause that what generally happens in deals like this.
So I say, let him buy the Dell. Sounds like he is not the type to build anyway.


Sep 11, 2008
Honestly if he wants to spend 1800 or 3500 dollars I would make some money off it by just building him a newer one and charging him a few hundred above parts for labor. Why not get some more experience under your belt and make some extra cash? Nothing wrong with that. :p
I think jrhilsch said it very well. Now, there is nothing wrong with charging him a small (e.g. $50) "consulting fee," if you're entirely up front about it. Take a look at whatever he's thinking of buying. Go over it part by part. Can you build better, cheaper? Of course you can, so explain it to him, and offer (for that $50) to assist him to choose parts, and help him build it.
Of course, you need to explain the possibility of DOAs, and the RMA process, etc, but when you show him how much more he can get, for how much less, and what he'll learn, he may go for it.


Oct 22, 2008
you could always help him with his build, save him a bunch of cash, and then suggest he buy you a new processor with all the money he saved....


As much as I hate being the system fix-it guy in the family, I have to agree with jitpublisher. Every time I go over to my brother's or sister's house, I inevitably spend most of my time in front of their computers "fixing them". I don't think you want to get into that kind of spot with your co-worker (you don't know what his or his kids' pc usage is like).

Walk him through a Dell customization, pointing out recommended components, click buy and call it a day.

Maybe ask him to buy you a drink after work or something like that.

-Wolf sends


Nov 17, 2008
Price all of those parts today, reduce the prices a little bit for any parts that are outdated and to consider that it is used equipment now, add on a fee for building and debugging the machine, and sell it to him.